336 HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION thinking about the changes necessary to make education more efficient in the production of good citizens, and led to the task of educational reconstruction being committed to Friederich Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835). The choice of von Humboldt was in every way a happy one. At once a great scholar and a great man, he brought to his task fresh thoughts and generous ideals of life, inspired partly by acquaintance with the Kantian philosophy, partly by an enthusiastic study of the litera- ture and institutions of ancient Greece. He was appointed director of Public Instruction in 1808, and, though he only held office for eighteen months, he succeeded in leaving his mark on every department of education. One of his first achievements was the establishment of a new university in Berlin with the help of Fichte and Schleiermacher. " The foundation of this university in the year of Prussia's greatest misery ... the voting of £22,500 per annum for the purpose of the new university and the Academy of Science and Arts, when a crushing war tax hung over the country [and] . . . the necessaries of life [were] at famine prices, was an act as heroic as the great deeds on the battlefield."* Berlin uni- versity was not intended to be a mere addition to the number of existing universities but was created to embody a new con- ception of university work. The main emphasis was laid on scientific research rather than on teaching and examining; and with this in view the professors appointed were chosen for their capacity to make original contributions to the furtherance of learning. The university, moreover, was granted full liberty to manage its own affairs in regard both to studies and administration. "The State," said von Humboldt, " should not look to the uni- versities for anything that directly concerns its own interests, but should rather cherish a conviction that in fulfilling their real function, they will not only serve its purposes but serve them on an infinitely higher plane. . . affording room to set in motion much more efficient springs and forces than are at the disposal of the State itself."f The secondary schools were reformed by von Humboldt and his immediate successors in the same liberal spirit. A certain number of the old grammar schools were singled out as gymnaden * J. T. Merz, European Thought on the Nineteenth Century, i, 38 n. t Paulsen, German Education, English translation, p. 186.